February 19, 2010

Notes: Hughes to step up his leadership

Following Thursday's game, a loss to Minnesota that essentially ended any hopes of a Wisconsin Big Ten title, senior guard Trevon Hughes was especially hard on himself.

"It was all my fault," Hughes said. "I was being a goofball in practice all week. That's unacceptable. I'm going to step up my leadership."

Hughes finished Thursday's contest with a game high 19 points on 7-of-17 shooting from the field. He logged four steals, hit five 3-pointers and dished an assist. But he had two of UW's five turnovers and scored six of his 19 points in the final two minutes when the game was effectively over.

"I wasn't being a leader," Hughes said when asked to expand on his prior comment. "I was thinking everything was a joke. I was turning the ball over in practice and it showed in the game. I've just got to be more aggressive and be a better leader."

In a game that looked to be one favoring UW on paper leading into the contest, things turned quickly when Minnesota capitalized on four consecutive missed 3-pointers in a stretch just past the midway point of the second half.

The Gophers reeled off a quick 11-0 run to open a 16-point margin that UW couldn't get back from.

"We've got to let this one go," Hughes said. "We've got four games left to go in the season, we've got the Big Ten tournament and I'm pretty sure we're making the NCAA's. We can't put our head down on this one. I know it sucks and I know it hurts, but hey, things happen like that sometimes."

Freshman intensity:

By now, anybody that has been watching Mike Bruesewitz play understands how he's always around the ball when rebounding. It doesn't matter whether it's a long defensive board or a potential tip in off the offensive glass, Bruesewitz will likely be around the play.

In Thursday's game, Bruesewitz accounted for four rebounds in 20 minutes of play. Only Keaton Nankivil, with six rebounds, had more. Following a loss, one where UW was badly out rebounded 41-28 by a longer and hungrier Gopher squad, UW head coach Bo Ryan said he'd like to see a more tenacious effort on the boards across the team.

Senior guard Jason Bohannon echoed that sentiment.

"Bruiser does a tremendous job when he gets in there," Bohannon said. "He gets offensive rebounds, defensive rebounds and he just finds the ball. We need to have all the guys on the floor doing that.

"We just haven't had that."

Consistently inconsistent:

Look across the league this season and you'll see plenty of outcomes that leave you shaking your head. Whether it's Penn State going into Northwestern and throttling the Wildcats, Ohio State coming from behind at Purdue, Minnesota thumping Wisconsin or Ohio State crushing Illinois at home, it has been a league of consistently inconsistent teams.

"It's tough to be consistent," Ryan said. "Just look at everybody. That's the thing that's amazing this year, how all of us are inconsistent."

Explaining the technical:

Late in the first half, after Ryan Evans seemed to collect a rebound only to be whistled for a foul, Ryan was handed a technical foul for arguing with the officials. Throughout the first half it seemed as though Ryan was on the verge of the tech on several occasions when he would get into the ear of an official.

Finally, when that call was made, Ryan had had enough. When asked about it after the game, Ryan had the following to say.

"I have no idea about technicals," Ryan said. "What it is or what gets it called. I have no idea. I do my thing on the sideline and I have no idea. I couldn't get a response. I had no idea."

Showing up a rival?

With less than 10 seconds remaining, Minnesota senior guard Lawrence Westbrook drove into the lane and attempted what would have been an emphatic dunk to cap off an impressive win.

When asked if he had a problem with that play, Bohannon said the following.

"They had to shoot a shot and stuff," Bohannon said. "He drove in the lane and went up for a play. We tried to take a charge and got a blocking call for it."

The reporter then followed with a quip regarding Westbrook's intent and whether he was trying to show up the Badgers.

"He might have," Bohannon said. "But when they're in that position you can't really do much about it."

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